Picking Classes For My Imaginary Horse

Training Journal

If you’re riding a horse, you’ve already won.

Awareness of the outside world. We are making an effort to support local restaurants by getting more take-out, particularly from restaurants that are making effort to be safety compliant.

A while back, I informed the universe that I was open to a third horse. [Tertium Quid]

I decided it would be fun if this magical new horse were to be a Saddlebred. [Finding A Horse To Match The Hat]

Among other places, this ASB unicorn and I would go to the jumper class at the St. Louis National Charity Horse Show. [Saddlebred Versatility, Jumpers]

None of this is new.

What is new is my flash of genius. Not related to horse shopping, alas. A class shopping f. of g.

Back in 2013, the hunter class at St. Louis was one jump in a work-off. I watched. [I Want It All]

Now, the jumping happens outdoors. The videoing happens indoors. I can’t watch.

Ding! Ding! Ding!


Howie Schatzberg has years of show proofs from the jump classes. What have I learned? The hunter jumps are tiny. True, they are bigger than what I am jumping now, but tiny in the grand scheme of things. Several of the gate panels are resting on the ground. The jumper fences are bigger, but well within the scope of my three-foot Miracle Horse.

The advertised height is not the only determinant in the difficulty of a class. At St. Louis, the hunters are 2’6″ (if memory serves, I can’t locate the specs) and the jumpers are .9 (2′ 11″). The hunter jumps look as if they would need to stand on tiptoes to meet the listed height. The jumper fences were closer to height but still kind. Both courses had well-build jumps with enough filler to be inviting but not so much as to give the feeling that you are jumping across a hedge. No robust, square oxers. No spreads that you can stand in the middle of. Any horse who can get around Novice eventing should be able to get over these jumps.

I can’t tell the course from the stills. The hunter class could have bold, demanding lines. The jumper class could have daunting technical combinations. I doubt it.

On the downside, presentation photos indicate that the jumper winner gets a blue ribbon and blanket. The hunter winner gets the full St. Louis treatment with loot, trophy, and that multi-rosette championship neck ribbon unique to St. L. On the upside, all the hunter class ribbon winners get a victory pass.

At least I’d get a chance at participatinge in a victory gallop, er, victory trot if I did the working hunter classes as warm-up for the jumpers. We wouldn’t win. Even a miracle unicorn wouldn’t turn me into a hunter rider.

There is also a full division of non-jumping Hunter Country Pleasure classes, which are a whole ‘nuther kettle of Saddlebreds. In my fantasy trip to St. Louis, I might or might not take a swing at these depending on the schedule in relation to the jumping. Even more unlikely to win in an arena full of flat-focused equines.

Would I drive all the way to St. Louis for the chance at one jumper class? In a heartbeat.

Stay safe. Stay sane.
Katherine Walcott

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